On Friday evening — after his team slumped to a pathetic loss at Harlequins — Anthony Eddy appeared in public and refused to resign. It was his final act as Worcester’s head coach and last night he was sacked.
The affable Australian has paid the price for Warriors' disastrous start to their third Premiership campaign and although they had already lost all seven of their league matches by the time they arrived at the Twickenham Stoop, the manner of their defeat was sufficiently disconcerting that chairman Cecil Duckworth yesterday went back on all his previous utterances and fired Eddy — less than two months after he awarded him a contract extension.
Director of rugby John Brain keeps his job — despite appointing Eddy — and will be assisted by former England defence coach Phil Larder. Existing skills coach Billy McGinty will take charge of the backs ‘for the foreseeable future’.
Speaking after spending the weekend deliberating with his co-director Roger Murray and in consultation with Brain, Duckworth explained his decision.
"Anthony Eddy has brought a lot of professionalism to the club and, in many areas, has taken us forward," he said. "But, unfortunately, the style of playing he has been working on has not produced results, and we’ve certainly lacked penetration."
And wins too. Worcester lie bottom of the table with only three victories from 20 games played in 2006. Theirs is an awful position.
Duckworth has also announced his intention to take a more active role in player recruitment after a frustrating summer in which the only new players tempted were other team’s cast-offs. Although Brain tried to paint them as hungry professionals with points to prove they have made little impact and it is a failure that has clearly disturbed the club’s owner.
He said: "We did attempt to recruit a number of significant players in the summer but we were unsuccessful for various reasons, which was disappointing.
"I will now assist John with this recruitment which, of course, is vital as we move forward. John will be identifying our needs and the talent that we require, and I’ll then assist in trying to secure the contract."